Welcome to the latest edition of This Week on Twitter for Westminster HUB where we take a look at the week’s biggest political news through the eyes of Twitter. This week has been highlighted by a number of shock announcements including a surprise High Court ruling on the triggering of article 50. There were also decisions on an Orgreave inquiry and whether England footballers can wear poppies on their shirts. All of these decisions generated some heated discussion on social media and we have handpicked a few of the best.
This week saw the long-awaited decision on whether or not there would be an inquiry into the battle of Orgreave which was part of the miners’ strikes in 1984. The home secretary, Amber Rudd, shocked many people on Twitter by announcing in Parliament that there would be no inquiry and listed her reasons why. However her reasons were not enough to persuade many who thought an inquiry was vital and a former Labour leader led the shock reactions to the decision.
Guardian journalist, Owen Jones, described his disappointment while also highlighting what the inquiry could have investigated.
In Parliament Amber Rudd did her best to defend the decision against an inquiry by saying “ultimately there were no deaths or wrongful convictions,” to investigate.
In response to the news Labour quickly committed to holding an inquiry into Orgreave if they are elected at the next election as the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg reported.
FIFA’s Poppy Problems
There was a second controversial decision this week as football’s governing body, FIFA, announced that it would not allow England and other home nations to wear a poppy on their kits. FIFA defended the decision saying it sees the poppy as a political statement which it does not allow to be put on football kits. It was another decision that caused much controversy with Twitter users, journalists and MPs alike. Theresa May in particular seemed to hold a strong opinion on the issue following a question on the issue at PMQ’s on Wednesday this week.
However some Twitter users including the editor of politics.co.uk, Ian Dunt, felt that the issue was being over blown and felt the need to wear poppies on the shirts was not that important.
While The Times’ chief football correspondent, Henry Winter, suggested that the FA should ignore the FIFA decision and put poppies on England’s shirts anyway even if it meant a fine for doing so.
Tax Credit Cuts
In Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions Jeremy Corbyn used some of his questions to Theresa May to highlight the government’s planned cuts to tax credits under the incoming universal credits system. The topic has been highlighted recently by new Ken Loach film ‘I, Daniel Blake’ which puts a spotlight on life living on benefits. Corbyn suggested the Prime Minster should watch the film as she argued the fairness of the Conservative welfare stance.
Corbyn’s attacks on the subject went down well with some Twitter users who highlighted how many people struggle with the current benefits system. One such Twitter user was Labour MP Clive Lewis who clearly supported Jeremy Corbyn targeting Theresa May on this issue and brought up some statistics which backed up the topic.
Theresa May struck back at PMQs with the familiar accusation that Labour is the party which will put no limits on the welfare bill.
High Court Brexit Blow
In a third shocking announcement this week the high court ruled that Prime Minster May needed the approval of Parliament before triggering article 50 and beginning the Brexit process. This decision could have major consequences but may give the public and Parliament in particular a much clearer view of what Brexit actually means. There was a mixed reaction on Twitter between those who saw it as the bending of democracy and those who were happy they would learn more about Brexit.
The Huffington Post led with the news of a sterling revival on the stock markets after the news broke about the high court ruling but a spokesperson for Theresa May was confident the Brexit process would still start as scheduled before March 2017.
Faisal Islam thought the news could have wide ranging effects including a potential early election being called and that the ruling might also delay the starting of the Brexit negotiations.
The coming week will see a new President of the United States elected when Americans go to the polls on Tuesday to choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. In the UK there will be continuing build up to the Richmond Park by election and Brexit will continue to dominate many of the political headlines.
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